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Crazy Rich Asians was an absolute hit, earning over $238 million dollars worldwide. The romantic comedy was so big, Warner Bros. decided to renew the title for two sequels. But there is a problem. One of the two film writers, Adele Lim an Asian American, has left over a pay inequality claim.

Lim apparently was set to be paid $110,000-plus for the two films while her co-writer, Peter Chiarelli, was set to earn $800,000 – $1,000,000 for his effort.  Lim argues that regardless of the fact that Chiarelli’s resume boasts far more big screen experience than Adele’s, the size of the pay difference is too extreme given the fact that both worked on the initial hit project.

It has been reported that Lim apparently rejected a deal to split her counterpart Chiarelli’s salary with him, hoping to receive a salary closer to what he earns. Now it’s far lower than what that number would have been.

Adele told the Hollywood Reporter, “Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer. If I couldn’t get pay equity after Crazy Rich Asians, I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else, given that the standard for how much you’re worth is having established quotes from previous movies, which women of color would never have been (hired for). There’s no realistic way to achieve true equality that way.”

With negotiations spewing out into the public light, the pressure is on Warner Bros. to either cut a new deal with Adele to bring her back or move on to find a new writer to keep the story culturally true. Unless Ms. Lim was doing the work of an assistant, rather than co-writer, she needs an increase.  It will be a shame to break up the team that was responsible for such a culturally important moment in entertainment history.  In the age of pay equity, Warner Bros. ought to step up

Disney and Pixar announced that Jamie Foxx will be the lead actor in its film Soul, scheduled for release in June 2020.  It’s the first time an African American has played a lead role in a Pixar animation.

The film synopsis asks, “Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you … you?  Soul takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions.”

Joe Gardner (played by Foxx) is a middle school band director and a jazz lover. After several attempts Gardner finally gets accepted to play at a highly regarded New York City jazz club, only to die shortly after. That’s just the beginning.  The rest takes place when his soul goes on to the lands beyond and he meets up with other souls up above.

Several clips have been released through the Walt Disney Studio Twitter account.

Chris Hemsworth is best known for his role as Marvel’s Thor, God of Thunder and for his incredible physique.  Hemsworth, 36, took to Instagram to show off his workout routine.  The videos are an abbreviated form of his paid fitness app Centrfit, which is called “666 Workout,” not to be mistaken for the devil, although some say the workout is like going through hell.

666 signifies – six repetitions of six sets of six exercises. The video in his Instagram post focused on his back and biceps.  Chris goes through numerous pull exercises; pullups, curls, rows, and deadlifts.

Despite all the traveling he does, he rarely misses a workout, but because of selfie hunters, he rarely trains in a public gym.  Instead he gets it done in his room.

Beyond the workouts, Chris follows disciplined, healthy eating habits. He says he tends to eat fish later in the day over meats as it helps him sleep better. His body digests fish protein better overnight than meat protein. While he doesn’t reveal any tips about growing flawlessly, god-like hair, his Centrfit app has a ton of great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and diet suggestions that can help the average Joe get on the path to becoming, if not a God of Thunder, at least a helper.  Check out Hemsworth’s Instagram for footage.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the legendary, retired basketball player, who had a close relationship with Bruce Lee, the dead, champion martial arts actor, is protective of Lee’s legacy.  He’s unhappy with how Quentin Tarantino portrayed his friend in the new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the middle of the film, Brad Pitt’s character fights Bruce Lee.  Jabbar described Tarantino’s depiction of Lee as being “sloppy” and “somewhat racist.” Jabbar was unhappy with what he perceived as a bigoted machismo in the way that Pitt’s character defeated Lee in the fight scene. Bruce Lee’s family has also spoken out about Bruce’s portrayal in the film. Lee’s daughter Shannon was particularly frustrated with the portrayal of her father. She thought that he was unfairly portrayed as cruel and arrogant. All Quentin Tarantino movies are controversial…it’s the nature of the beast; someone’s going to be unhappy.  Sorry Kareem. Sorry Shannon.
Quentin Tarantino is known for crafting high-energy, violent, profane films that verge on the bizarre.  One of his common tricks is to cast actors who have not been seen in a long time as he did with Pam Grier and Robert Forster in Jackie Brown.  He does the same thing with music…he finds the songs we haven’t heard in a long time or obscure artists that are slotted in at just the right place in the movie.  It’s part of the Tarantino movie making style. Now, timed to coincide with the release of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, he has complied 70 of his favorite songs from all his movies on Spotify.  Here’s a sample of the breathe of his choices:
  • George Baker’s “Little Green Bag” from the title sequence of Reservoir Dogs
  • Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” from Pulp Fiction.
  • David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)” from Inglourious Basterds
  • The White Stripes’ “Apple Blossom” from The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino says immodestly that listeners can “sit back, relax and move into the soundscape of a Quentin Tarantino movie. You may never wanna leave.”  Once Upon A Time In Hollywood starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt (not obscure actors) opened to a strong box office and acclaim from reviewers.
In a project that was announced, and had everyone excited back in 2015, Netflix, Warner Bros. and producers Jared Stern and Ellen DeGeneres are finally ready to release the 13-episode series Green Eggs and Ham this fall. It’s the story of the adventures of Guy-I-Am and Sam-I-Am who travel cross country testing the limits of their friendship, and in Dr. Seuss’s rhythmic fashion, “as they learn to try new things, they find out what adventure brings.” The two lead characters are played by Michael Douglas and Adam Devine.  They are supported with a pretty deep cast including Jillian Bell, Eddie Izzard, Diane Keaton, Keegan-Michael Key, Tracy Morgan, and John Turturro.  Each episode will be roughly 30 minutes and there is a very high likelihood that this series won’t be a one and done thing. For any child or child-like adult who grew up with the Dr. Seuss, this should be a no brainer. A trailer is expected soon.

Ariana Grande is about to work with Jim Carrey and she’s thrilled about it. The two will be working together on the second season of Kidding, a major Showtime drama series where Grande will be playing a guest role. She announced her role in a recent Instagram post that featured a black and white photo of Jim Carrey hugging the popster. Grande described herself as speechless about the news she would be working on the project; she also said that she adored Jim Carrey ever since she was a little kid.  She described Carrey as being more special, warm and generous in person than she ever imagined he could be. Season two of “Kidding” will premier on November 3rd.  Though it is about the host of a kid TV show, it is not for kids.

Hobbs & Shaw is a $200 million, star-studded, summer blockbuster that is some distance from its origins in the first Fast & Furious movie, a somewhat innocent version of cops vs robbers vs corruption featuring cool street cars straight out of a Need for Speed video game.  What started with Paul Walker (RIP) and Vin Diesel, second level stars at the time, has morphed into countless films featuring current first tier stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Statham, Eva Mendes and Kurt Russell.  F & F has evolved into a mighty movie franchise. In Hobbs & Shaw, The Rock and Statham team up to take on bad guys much to their chagrin. They try to save Shaw’s (Statham) sister (Vanessa Kirby) who is a M16 agent. The franchise may be bigger, but is it better?  Has it devolved into typical action movie with fighting, guns, good guys vs. bad guys, cars, and other wild and crazy vehicular scenes; aerial, on the ground or by the sea?  To insure its appeal, the film throws in Ryan Reynolds, Idris Elba, Rob Delaney, and Kevin Hart. Question: How far can $200 million take you?
Netflix is bringing some classic flicks to their platform for the month of August. The complete list can be found below.  We take a closer look at a couple that are for sure worth checking out.
  • Are We Done Yet?
  • Boyka: Undisputed
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Groundhog Day
  • Horns
  • Jackie Brown
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Now and Then
  • Panic Room
  • Rocky I – V
  • Sex and the City: The Movie
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • The Bank Job
  • The House Bunny
  • The Sinner: Julian
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
  • Why Do Fools Fall in Love
A Closer Look Jackie Brown – The release of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in July is likely to trigger a Tarantino binge for many, and while Jackie Brown is one of his older movies; it is still one of his best. Not for the weak-hearted, this movie of betrayal, schemes and deception will have viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. It is timeless Tarantino. The Rocky Series – If you haven’t seen any of the Rocky movies, we’re not sure where you’ve been. If you have, there’s nothing like going back for a little refresher.  Personally, we believe the early Rocky¹s are the best of the bunch, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can crank up all five in one sitting, just don¹t forget to bring snacks. Cue the theme song. Something’s Gotta Give – Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton should be enough to get you to watch this movie, aside from the fact that it is very well done. Perhaps more for the older crowd as a comedy / drama / romance movie, but we think it’s got something for everyone and recommend checking it out. Plus, a crazy Jack Nicholson face really never gets old. Happy binging this August everybody!

The famous Broadway musical “The Prom” is set to become a movie on Netflix, and with the recent release of the casting, viewers can expect an all-star lineup of talent. Headlining the superstar cast is Oscar and Emmy winning actresses Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. Additionally Netflix’s movie version of “The Prom” will feature Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key, and Andrew Rannells.

The basis of the story is around an Indiana lesbian teenager who struggles with the acceptance and permissions of the LGBTQ community in day to day life. She is banned from attending her school’s prom with a partner of the same gender, and thus gains traction with Broadway big shots to fight the injustice of this particular scenario.

Ryan Murphy, producer of this movie who recently inked a new 5 year deal with Netflix was also the producer behind American Horror Story and American Crime Story. “The Prom” is set to become the first of several projects in which Murphy will produce for Netflix, as he enjoys the fruits of his labor with a 300 million dollar deal.